Related Research Areas

The overarching scientific question that excites this community is whether intensification of a tropical wave into a cyclone is determined by its large-scale environment, or whether the nature, intensity, and organization of the deep convective systems within the wave are important as well. This issue can only be resolved by adequate measurements of both the environment, and the smaller-scale convective systems. For example, how frequent are the suspected 'vortical hot towers' in cases of rapid intensification, and does the vortex develop from the bottom-up or from the top-down? NASA’s single-aircraft deployments in TCSP and NAMMA were successful and obtained very interesting datasets, but they are insufficiently detailed to answer these questions. When the PI’s current TCSP and NAMMA grants expire in 2008 and 2009, respectively, some case studies from those programs will be completed, but additional work will be necessary. For example, Debby and Helene formed just off the African coast, and numerical simulations will be required to compare with measurements from the research aircraft. We now know that the NASA DC-8 obtained excellent data on microphysics (including aerosols) in several non-developing African waves that remain to be modeled and analyzed. We speculate that numerical simulations may erroneously predict intensification for these cases. The PI has shared leadership roles in NASA aircraft field programs in TOGA COARE, CAMEX 3 and 4, TCSP, and NAMMA. He has maintained and fostered close working relationships with counterparts in NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, an institutional partnership that will be very important in future field programs for improved understanding of how tropical cyclones form and especially how they sometimes change intensity rapidly. This proposal aims to help diagnose the shortcomings as well as the successes of these previous field programs, and to use that knowledge to assist in planning future programs with an efficient, optimal mix of proven and new technology. The goals include capability for improved multi-scale datasets to study intensity change, as well as evaluation of candidate spaceborne technologies.

Project PI: Edward Zipser/University of Utah

Atmospheric Sciences University of Utah 135 S 1460 East Rm 819 (WBB) Salt Lake City, Ut 84112-0110

Phone: (801)585-0467



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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 15, 2010


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